For over 30 years, Children’s Museum of Tacoma has nurtured young children and their grown-ups through play-based exhibits, onsite programming, and community outreach.
The Muse: a children’s center offers high quality, licensed child care that emphasizes a child-centered approach to early learning. The Muse is a program of the Children’s Museum of Tacoma in collaboration with UW Tacoma. At The Muse children are seen as capable, contributing, and compassionate citizens of our community who partner with teachers to discover exploration and learning opportunities within their environment. We promote school readiness by developing critical thinking and social-emotional skills through play based learning that includes math, science, and the arts.
We are inspired by the schools of Reggio Emila, Italy, where the image of the child is seen as capable, competent, and with high potential. At the heart of this approach to early childhood education are the relationships between families, children, and teachers. We believe children are valuable citizens and contributors to the community and that teacher’s partner with children in the learning process.
Curriculum emerges as children interact within both indoor and outdoor environments that are designed to invite wonder, curiosity, joy, and discovery. Included in the design of The Muse is the Studio, a place for open-ended art exploration that encourages collaboration and investigation with materials. Playground-ish will be The Muse’s own backyard. Intended to closely resemble a naturally growing backyard, Playground-ish includes sculpture, kitchen gardens, and exploration of natural materials, music, and gross motor play.
We recognize that The Muse is your child’s second home when he or she is with us, and the environment of The Muse is designed to surround your child with warmth, comfort, and beauty. While at The Muse your child receives nurturing support from our teachers. We share with you the care of your child and become a partner in meeting your child’s developmental goals and needs.
The Muse: a children’s center
1501 Pacific Avenue, Lower Level
Tacoma, WA 98402
Monday - Friday from 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.*
*The Muse will be closed select holidays.
Toddlers (Nest and Journey Classrooms): $1100 per month
Preschoolers (Bridges and Forest Classrooms): $1050 per month
We recommend applying to The Muse at least 18 months before your desired start date. Waiting times vary between classrooms and may be 6-12 months before a spot becomes available. Preschool is currently at capacity and wait time is around 18-24 months.
We highly encourage families to tour our center after submitting an application and before enrollment offer.
If you are interested in a tour, please contact Hannah Darms at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "Muse Tour". Tours are 15-20 minutes, and are offered Monday- Thursday. 9:30 - 11 a.m.
When should I apply?
We recommend applying to the waitlist at least 18 months before your desired start date. Being added to the wait list does not guarantee a spot. Enrollment is based on a first come first served basis, with priority enrollment for those associated with the University of Washington Tacoma and for siblings of current students.
How long is the waitlist?
Currently our wait time for toddlers (1-3 yrs) is around 24-30 months and our wait time for preschoolers (3-5 yrs) is around 30-36 months. Please note that there is a waitlist for each classroom and children are moved to the appropriate classroom waitlist as they age, this can increase or decrease wait times.
How do I get added to the waitlist?
To be added to our waitlist, please fill out our pre-application form and send to email@example.com with ‘pre-application’ in the subject line. Once the pre-application is submitted, your child will be placed on the age-appropriate classroom wait list according to the date the application was received. Because of the high volume of inquiries, please allow up to 14 days for a confirmation response.
When does enrollment occur?
Most children are enrolled at The Muse during the late spring and summer months. Vacancies during the school year are rare, but can occur. When a spot becomes available, we will make contact as soon as possible. Please note that enrollment offers may be made with as little as two weeks notice.
How long do I have to accept an enrollment offer?
Because of our extensive waitlist, we ask that you respond to our enrollment offer within 72 hours of being received. If no response is given within that time frame, we will assume care for your child is no longer needed and you will be removed from our waitlist. Upon acceptance, an annual registration fee will be due and paperwork will need to be completed in full before your child’s start date.
Can my child attend The Muse part time?
No. The Muse is a full time, year round program and our tuition is based on ten hour days, five days a week. The Museum offers two part time preschool programs through Preschool Powered by Play. Please visit https://www.playtacoma.org/preschool for more information.
What are the hours and days of operation?
The Muse is a full time, year round center. Our center is open from 7:00am-6:00pm, Monday-Friday. We are closed for all major holidays and several professional development days throughout the year.
Can I tour The Muse?
We offer 20-25 minute tours of our center Monday-Thursday, 9:30-11a.m. OR 3-5 p.m. To schedule a tour please email firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Muse Tour’ in the subject line. Please note that because of high volumes of inquiries, tour requests must be made at least two weeks in advance.
How much does it cost to attend the Muse?
Tuition rates are based on 10 hour days, 5 days a week and are subject to change annually. As of July 2019, tuition is $1100/month for toddlers (1-3years) and $1025/monthly for preschool (3-5years).